This week! Books!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting these past few weeks on what’s next for my creative life and where I want to devote my energy, so this post on the Freelancers Union blog by Justine Clay was just the right thing at the right time: Are you really willing to stand out from the crowd?
So many of the great things in life come from owning who you are and finding like-minded people. In this day of social media dunking and piling on, it can be tempting to be a conformist rather than step out from the pack and find, or, even better, create your own community. Lots to think about.
Another huge shakeup in the publishing world as Macmillan CEO John Sargent will be stepping down due to “disagreements over its direction.” Don Weisberg is now CEO.
President Barack Obama has a new book coming out shortly after the election, which will be the first of two volumes of his political life. It clocks in at 768 pages and will retail for an eye-popping $45.
Meanwhile, books about President Trump continue to sell like gangbusters.
Penguin Random House released a diversity report that revealed that 78% of its nonwarehouse employees and 80% of its warehouse employees are white. CEO Madeline McIntosh said, “I don’t think any of us is likely to be surprised by the data, which show that our company, like our industry, is far too homogeneous.”
Author Matthew Salesses lost his wife two years ago and he wrote a beautiful and devastating essay on living through grief and “holding it together.”
Writers often wonder: is there a “best time to query?” Basically no.
Bookbub has a great list of 24 ideas for using social media in case you need some sharing inspiration.
And rejection got you down? You may have to get in line behind Colin Hester, who was rejected repeatedly after his debut novel was published in 1997 and will soon have a new novel out.
This week in bestsellers
Here are the top five NY Times bestsellers in a few key categories. (All links are affiliate links):
Adult print and e-book fiction:
- Shadow in Death by J.D. Robb
- Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
- One By One by Ruth Ware
- All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Adult print and e-book nonfiction:
- Disloyal by Michael Cohen
- Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Compromised by Peter Strzok
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- Everything Beautiful in its Time by Jenna Bush Hager
Young adult hardcover:
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- American Royals II: Majesty by Katharine McGee
Middle grade hardcover:
- Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
- The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
- Wonder by R.J Palacio
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid by Jeff Kinney
This week on the blog
Don’t forget that you can nominate your first page and query for a free critique on the blog:
In case you missed them, here are this week’s posts:
- Zen and the art of fishing in Animal Crossing
- Emotions are more powerful when they’re “earned” (page critique)
And keep up with the discussion in all the places!
Comment! of! the! week! goes to Ken Hughes, with more advice on showing emotions that feel earned:
It might be the most elemental form of “show don’t tell”: don’t name an emotion. Emotions are the ultimate product of a story, and shortcuts there – even just to declare a character’s feelings – are refusing to do the most important, fun kind of work writing has. (Though there’s some room for Telling when the emotion’s fleeting, or the description is strong enough without being quite specific on its own.)
And finally, no one knows what lies at the bottom of the Hranice Abyss, which appears to be the world’s deepest cave at around one kilometer deep.
Have a great weekend!
Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!
For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.
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Art: North Salem, NY. Photo by me. Follow me on Instagram!